Playing on the iPod is the 3rd movement of Nicolo Paganini's Violin Concerto no. 2 in B minor, "La Campanella". Beautiful. Click on the iPod icon on the top of the page or on the picture of the CD cover to listen to it. It's worth it.
Nicolò Paganini, (October 27, 1782 – May 27, 1840) was an Italian violinist, violist, guitarist and composer. He is one of the most famous violin virtuosi, and is considered one of the greatest violinists who ever lived, with perfect intonation and innovative techniques. He is also widely regarded as the first ever virtuoso violinist.
A pervading myth about him is that he sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for his fearsome technique, a rumor which he delighted in and may have even started himself. During a performance his eyes would roll into the back of his head while playing, revealing the whites. His swaying stance, long unruly hair and thin, gaunt stature would add to this rumor. He played so intensely that women would faint and men would break out weeping.
In 1826, Paganini composed his second violin concerto in Italy. Its third movement, the rondo, owes its nickname "La Campanella" or "La Clochette" to the little bell which Paganini prescribes to presage each recurrence of the rondo theme. The character of the bell is also imitated in the orchestra and in some of the soloist's passages featuring harmonics. The outcome is a very transparent texture, which gains extra charm of gypsy coloration. This movement gives proof of a compositional mastery which Paganini is too often alleged not to possess.
- Taken from the Wikipedia -